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 Columns & Editorials

November 4, 2002

The Countdown Has Begun

by Jane Smith

Only a few more days until open practice for the 37th
running of the Governor's Cup 200. Why is this such
an important race and why is it the one trophy every
red blooded Florida Super Late Model driver wants his
name on??

Wayne Reutimann won the first cup race way back in 1965
with a man from Hueytown, Alabama in second. That man
was Bobby Allison. The track was Golden Gate Speedway.

Over the years, big names have come to try their luck
at winning the Cup race. In 1978, Dick Trickle from
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin beat Dick Anderson, Leroy
Porter, Dave Pletcher and Gary Balough. Now that would
have been some race to see. Trickle also came in 1979
finishing second with another Wisconsin Rapids driver
named Mike Miller. Trickle also ran in 81 and 82.

In 1988, a young up and coming driver named Joe
Nemechek from Lakeland tried his luck. That year
Dick Anderson won with Daniel Keene second, Bobby
Gill third and Nemechek fourth. David Russell,
Leory Porter, Lee Faulk, Jeff Earnhardt, Wayne
Anderson and Duke Southard finished out the top ten.
That was the year the Cup race was moved to New
Smyrna Speedway where it has been ever since.

Some of Florida's best Super Late Model drivers have
come and given it their best to have their name
added to the Cup trophy. The only other trophy that
is as honored as the Governor's Cup trophy is the
Daytona 500 trophy at Daytona USA. The trophy
remains at Daytona with the winner each year added
and the Governor's Cup trophy is just the same.

With such a grand history, thirty seven years, it
is no wonder that the Governor's Cup is the race that
every driver dreams of racing. It may not get you a
ride in Winston Cup, it may not make you rich, but
it does state that you were the best that day.

Many drivers dream of winning the Cup race. Afterall,
it does have a great history behind it and the "Best
of the Best" have won it.

This year is no different. Young lions like Travis
Kittleson, B.J. McLeod, Justin Drawdy, Brian Finney,
Barry Willoughby, Eric Black, Jay Middleton, Jacob
Warren all want the win. They will have to duke it
out with Dick Anderson, David Rogers, Bruce Lawrence,
James Powell, Michael Williams, David Froelich just
to name a few.

Who will it be?? Will it be a "Young Lion" or a
"Seasoned" driver?? No one will know until the
checkered waves.

Have an opinion on this story? Post a message on our Message Board!
or send a letter to the editor!



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